Chey’s Top 25 – #23 – Sunset Overdrive

Humor.  Chaos.  Guns.  Freedom.  This is #23 on my top 25 list, Sunset Overdrive.

Genre:  Platformer, Third-Person Shooter
Platform:  XBone

This is the newest game on my list by far and I’m not fully done playing.  I did complete the story, but there are so many things yet to do.  I know I have said that I don’t like shooters, but this game is a key example of how good story writing can make up for an element that I’m not too keen on.  And this game has EXCELLENT writing.  I LOL’d many, many times while I was playing.  It doesn’t take itself seriously at all and breaks the fourth wall quite often.

So what is this game?  It’s an open-world game, meaning you can go where you want when you want.  It’s all about the guns you can have, and it’s got a lot of them:

Sunset weapons

But there’s so much to it than that.  It’s also got heavy platform elements, which means that there are places that you need to get to, but it’s not always obvious how to do it and you have to use your brain to get there.  It’s also got some extreme-sports elements such as grinding rails and wall running.  What I enjoyed just about as much as the story were the collectibles.  I am a sucker for a lot of collectibles in a game.  There are 150 of five different items to collect and various other collectibles to get.  What’s unique here is that these aren’t just there for something to do – they make your character better by allowing for upgrades of weapons or abilities.

Similar to Grand Theft Auto and other open-world games, there are loads of side missions and quests to do.  My favorite series was helping a group of larpers defend themselves from the mutants which want to destroy their base.  I won’t give away any more of the story in case you intend to play.

This is an XBone-exclusive, but honestly, this game was a driver for me getting the console.  And I wasn’t disappointed.  It’s colorful, raucous and fun!

Boss battles have been a fundamental part of video games for a very long time.  I’m working on finishing Sunset Overdrive for the XBone right now, and I had to take a break from the end boss battle.  It requires a lot of manual dexterity and isn’t very forgiving.  These battles can be so frustrating, but I’d rather have it this way than a simple, unsatisfying battle at the end of a great game.

I’m going on 1.5 hours trying to beat it.  Hopefully, tomorrow I can give a good and full review of this one and I’ll report that I have been victorious!  These battles sure have come a long way since this guy:

bowser

 

Oldies but Goodies – Lemmings

Lemmings

It’s time for an oldie but goodie!  It’s Lemmings!  This game was introduced back in the DOS days (1991, very early PC).  It has had so many different versions on just about every console.  I have it for my Playstation Portable (PSP), but the version I remember best is that old DOS version.  You can still download it here:  http://www.abandonia.com/en/games/37/Lemmings.html.

Lemmings are a real animal and the story is that they will run off a cliff in mass numbers if they feel threatened enough.  This has since been proven to not be true, but it makes for a fun concept for a video game.  Your job is to save as many of the little critters as you can by guiding them to a safe door, where Twizzlers or whatever lemmings like to eat, are waiting.  However, each level is a bit of a maze.  The lemmings can only fall so far before they die.  You can assign lemmings a specific role, such as blocker or digger, which will aid in your task.  Blockers will prevent a lemming from going a certain direction (and are really cute!) and the diggers will dig.  There are others as well.

The early levels are easy, but it does get challenging later on.  The graphics still hold up today and there is a soundtrack which gets repetitive.  This game didn’t make my top 25, but it sure was fun, anyway.

 

Chey’s Top 25 – #24 – Rocket League

Genre – Sports
Platform – PC (Steam), XBone

Rocket League was one of those games that I started playing and immediately said “YES MORE PLEASE!”.  I was pretty good from the start and it made me feel awesome.  It’s one of the newer games to make my list, but according to Steam, I’ve played this game for 101 hours.  I’ve probably put in another 20 or so on the XBone.

This game has you driving an RC car and playing soccer.  They’ve got a basketball mode, too, but I haven’t played it.  It’s a simple concept, but it’s hard enough that you feel truly accomplished when you score a goal or make an epic save.  You can play single-player against bots, but the real fun is playing against real people online.  I am really not a fan of multiplayer games, but this is the exception.  The competition online can be fierce and again, it adds to that awesome feeling.

As you play, you unlock new cars and other ways to customize your vehicle.  My preferred vehicle is the Merchant, which is a van.  The idea of a van driving around an arena is funny to me.  You can also add little hats and antennas to your car.  You can play 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 or 4v4.  I’ve tried all of these, but I’ve found 3v3 to be my favorite.

The graphics are great, but if you play online, sometimes lag will creep in and “rubber band” you around the arena.  This can make it tough to play.  A strong internet connection is suggested.  The sound really adds to the experience with fog horns and fans and different sounds for the different boosts.  I strongly recommend you check this one out!  If you have a PS4, I believe it is free for you.

When I am gaming, I have one more intense game that I consider the “primary” game at the time.  Then, I play a few smaller games as filler because playing that primary game can be tiring.  Right now, the primary game I’m playing is Sunset Overdrive.  I’ll likely have a review of it before too long as I’m nearing the end.

My secondary games right now are Threes! on the XBone, Plague, Inc. on the XBone, Peggle 2 on the XBone and What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord? 2 on the PSP.  It keeps me busy, but I’m really enjoying this group.

Chey’s Top 25 Games – #25 -Pinball FX 2

Genre – Arcade/Pinball
Platform – XBox 360, XBone and PC (Steam)

I have been playing pinball games since I got my first Windows 3.1 Tandy computer (thanks Mom and Dad!).  I started with DOS-based Epic pinball, moved to Sierra’s 3D Ultra pinball, Kirby pinball on the Gameboy, then a gap until Pinball FX on the XBox original and finally Pinball FX 2 on both the 360 and XBone.

This game carries forth the fine traditions of the pinball games before it.  It is a collection of downloadable tables (for a fee, of course).  The graphics are great.  The tables are very busy, but it (usually) doesn’t get in your way of tracking the ball.  The sound effects are also good and unique from table to table.  I would recommend playing with a spotter, though, because you will be so transfixed on the ball that you’ll have no idea what is going on around the table.  The physics are also very good and do change from table to table.  Some tables are really fast, others are ramp-heavy and yet others have an older-school feel.  On some tables you’ll score 50 million without much trouble, and others, 2 million is a feat.

What really makes this game stand out, though, is the sheer number of tables.  I have probably downloaded about 40.  If you like Marvel, you’ll like this game.  There are games of many different characters – Deadpool, X-Men, Avengers, Spiderman, Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, Dr. Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy, etc.  There are about 15 Star Wars tables.  I also like the South Park and Animation (Archer, Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy and American Dad) tables.  There are also a lot of Zen originals that are fun.